SEP 01, 2020 1:15 PM SGT

The Interplay between Dengue Morphological Diversity and Antibody Recognition



Dengue virus (DENV) is a major human pathogen infecting approximately 400 million people annually worldwide. However, currently there is no highly effective vaccine and therapeutics are non-existent. Dr Lok’s research reveals the differing particle morphology of DENV, when placed in the presence of four different serotypes. The changes in particle morphology, thus antigenicity, is due to the rearrangement of the surface viral envelope (E) proteins allowing DENV to evade host immunity. This in turn complicates the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics. Dr Lok will discuss the extensive studies that have been conducted to examine the different morphologies displayed by various DENV strains and how Lok and her team identify molecular determinants on the E proteins that lead to different structural changes. By studying the different morphological variants displayed by strains within each serotype, Dr Lok posits that we may be able to incorporate “representative morphologies” for each serotype to make a more effective vaccine with greater coverage against all DENV serotypes antigenic structures. Professor Lok will also discuss how highly potent human antibodies can neutralize all or some of the morphological variants of four DENV serotypes.

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